SAN DIEGO, Dec. 11, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Emboldened by its significant progress with nickel-free and cobalt-free cathodes, Wildcat Discovery Technologies today announced it will build a U.S.-based plant to produce a portfolio of safe, sustainable, and abundant cathode materials.
The announcement reflects a strategy shift for Wildcat, which has excelled in battery materials research and engineering since 2006. Wildcat expects its plant will be operational to supply lithium iron phosphate (LFP) in late 2026, lithium manganese iron phosphate (LMFP) in 2027, and disordered rock salt (DRX) in 2028. Finalist site negotiations are under way for the plant, which will have initial capacity of 15,000 metric tons with expansion to 30,000 metric tons.
Wildcat is already producing LFP samples for customers and is partnering with a major commercial truck manufacturer to develop a differentiated LMFP. Additionally, the company is leveraging its joint development agreement with BMW to advance global leadership in the development of DRX. Beyond the superior safety profile of DRX, Wildcat’s testing indicates the energy density of DRX cathodes is 10-20% higher than the best nickel-based cathodes.
“After 15 years of battery materials research, our new purpose is to produce high-performance U.S.-made cathodes to enable widespread adoption of clean energy,” said Wildcat President and CEO Mark Gresser. “This is a breakthrough opportunity for us to capitalize on the growing need for U.S.-made cathodes for electric vehicles, grid storage, and other purposes.”
Demand is increasing significantly for nickel-free cathode materials that are produced in North America. The cathode accounts for about 50% of the cost of a battery cell, but more than 95% of the global LFP supply today is from China. Wildcat’s deep expertise in battery development is a distinct advantage for scaling cathode materials in the market.
Wildcat leverages its unique high throughput platform that enables comprehensive experiments to be done 10 times faster than conventional methods. The process enables premium materials benchmarking, cell optimization, and systematic scale-up to pair the cathode with the right anode and electrolyte combinations.
“Battery cells are complex systems, and Wildcat recognizes the best cathode in the world doesn’t guarantee a successful battery. That’s why we partner with customers to help align and integrate all elements of the full battery cell for optimal performance and maximum value,” Gresser said.
About Wildcat Discovery Technologies
Wildcat Discovery Technology’s mission is to produce high-performance U.S.-made cathodes to enable widespread adoption of clean energy. The company plans to manufacture a portfolio of nickel- and cobalt-free cathodes at a plant it builds in the United States, while leveraging its 15 years of materials development to help customers achieve the best integrated battery cell. Customers will have access to LFP, LMFP, and DRX materials produced at the Wildcat plant.
Founded in 2006, Wildcat’s vision is to be the first choice for battery material development, integration, and supply. In addition to production, the company’s unique high throughput platform enables comprehensive materials experiments to be done 10 times faster than conventional methods. In collaboration with 80 companies, Wildcat has optimized solutions for battery components in 225 projects and 400,000 experiments spanning multiple industries. Wildcat was named one of the “50 Most Innovative Companies” by Technology Review magazine. For additional information about Wildcat, visit us at wildcatdiscovery.com, or follow us on LinkedIn.